"I was bullied for the way I looked and now I'm leading a national party." 🥲
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has opened up about being bullied in his youth but says his experiences have helped him "develop a voice."
A video, shared on September 1, shows the party leader talking about his childhood in Canada, getting picked on by other kids and his father's "scary" struggles with addiction.
When I tell people my politics are rooted in "courageous optimism," I want them to know how I got here. This is m… https://t.co/JAI0D0fqAw— Jagmeet Singh (@Jagmeet Singh) 1630512943.0
"I often, with my wife particularly, joke about like 10-year-old Jagmeet and how this is a trip and this is not anything that 10-year-old Jagmeet would have imagined," Singh says.
"I was bullied for the way I looked and now I'm leading a national party," he continues. He went on to say that as a child, he would never think that "someone that looked like me would ever run to become prime minister of Canada."
"That little kid is blown away, does not believe what happened."
A little later in the clip, Singh talks about how he came to wear a turban. He explains that he enjoyed having long hair as a kid, and his mom suggested "tying it up in the traditional way."
"I didn't really understand the import of that decision," he says. "All of a sudden [I was] getting bullied immediately because I looked so different." He remembers other kids picking on him, pushing him and making fun of the colour of his skin.
"Instead of backing down I kinda went in deeper," he goes on, explaining that his mom helped him to understand the ideas of oneness, equality and justice.
Towards the end of the clip, Singh says that his life experiences have ultimately helped him to develop a "voice that for a long time had been trying to emerge."